DT 27171 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27171

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27171

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Good morning from South Staffs on a bright sunny morning.

Just back from a pleasant weekend in deepest Wiltshire (or Wadworthshire, as the local hostelries would have it). A ** crossword for me, though a couple of less frequently used words may complicate matters.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a           Heading off to give credit for writer (6)
{ SCRIBE } Remove the initial A from a verb meaning ‘to give credit for’.

4a           Choose not to take part in work with aggressive seller (3,3)
{ OPT OUT } The Latin abbreviation for a work, often used in cataloguing a composer’s output, followed by someone who pushes, for example, tickets for a football match or rock concert.

8a           Judge, we recalled, pointed instrument (4-4)
{ JEWS HARP } A musical instrument made up of an abbreviation for Judge, WE (from the clue) reversed (recalled) and an adjective for pointed.

10a         Gold cross initially concealed in plant (6)
{ ORCHID } A charade of the heraldic term for gold, the first letter of Cross, and a verb meaning concealed.

11a         Cautious fighting against unknown quantity (4)
{ WARY } A term for fighting, especially between nations, followed by an algebraic unknown.

12a         A sailor can’t take this on board (5,5)
{ SHORE LEAVE } A cryptic definition. Something a sailor has to be on land to take.

13a         Both comrades injured, so out of action (4,2,6)
{ HORS DE COMBAT } Anagram (injured) of BOTH COMRADES.

16a         Pie (any sort) and chips cooked (7,5)
{ CORNISH PASTY }Anagram (cooked) of ANY SORT and CHIPS.

20a         Book country hotel (7,3)
{ JAMAICA INN } A novel by Daphne du Maurier made up of a Caribbean country and a hotel or pub.

21a         Lover‘s knot, say (4)
{ BEAU } A homophone (say) of the sort of knot you use to tie your shoelaces.

22a         Failing to change sides (6)
{ DEFECT } Double definition: a noun meaning failing, or a verb meaning to change sides, usually in a political sense.

23a         Flower husband presented to poorly Cynthia (8)
{ HYACINTH } Husband followed by an anagram (poorly) of CYNTHIA.

24a         Annoy the Parisian after final (6)
{ NETTLE } The French definite article after the final figure required to settle a bill.

25a         A college teacher is one killed while hunting (6)
{ ADONIS } A (from the clue), a college lecture, and IS (from the clue) give a mythical Greek youth of great beauty who was killed while hunting a boar.


1d           Cabinetmaker inside fascinates her at once (8)
{ SHERATON } Hidden in the clue.

2d           Easily irritated principal’s dropped out of practice (5)
{ RUSTY } Drop the initial C from a word meaning easily irritated.

3d           Club about to lose support? Just the opposite (7)
{ BRASSIE } An old name for a variety of golf club. The clue tells us to look for the opposite of ‘about to lose support’, which in crossword terms is ‘support to lose about’. The support is the full version of the female undergarment which so often appears in crosswords, which then loses the Latin word for about or concerning.

5d           Gnome in lead crossing river beyond (7)
{ PROVERB } Not the little chap found adorning gardens, but a pithy and sententious saying, according to the BRB. The chemical symbol for lead is wrapped around an abbreviation for River and a word meaning beyond.

6d           Her co-star upset big band (9)
{ ORCHESTRA } Anagram (upset) of HER CO-STAR.

7d           Pinch this short girl (6)
{ THIEVE } Remove the final S from THIS (short) and add a girl’s name – the one given to the first woman in Genesis.

9d           Snap decision at end of race? (5,6)
{ PHOTO FINISH } Cryptic definition of a close result at the end of a race.

14d         Religious ceremony in US city, unfinished (9)
{ SACRAMENT } Remove the final O from the state capital of California.

15d         Merry at last in idyllic island (8)
{ ATLANTIS } Anagram (merry) of AT LAST IN. This is the online version of the clue.  The newspaper has ‘happy’ rather than ‘merry’, which is perhaps less good as an anagram indicator.

17d         Article misrepresented performance (7)
{ RECITAL } Anagram (misrepresented) of ARTICLE.

18d         Abbreviated answer printed in tough political publication (7)
{ HANSARD } The publication which reports proceedings in Parliament. An abbreviation of ‘answer’ inside an adjective meaning tough.

19d         A vet disturbed over service in bar (6)
{ TAVERN } Anagram (disturbed) of A VET followed by (over, in a Down clue) the abbreviation for one of the armed Services.

21d         Little child I found in farm building (5)
{ BAIRN } I (from the clue) inside a farm building used for storage of crops.

The Quick Crossword pun { STARE }{ WELLES } = { STAIRWELLS }

48 comments on “DT 27171

  1. I very much enjoyed this, but find it difficult to rate. I’ll go for **(*)/***.

    My last four answers (1a, 2d, 3d, 21a) took me a lot longer than all the rest put together. Even with three checking letters out of five, I still couldn’t get 2d without DT’s hint as I was fixated on the answer being “easily irritated”.

    I got the answer quickly for 5d, but also need DT’s hint to understand the reference to “gnome”.

    Particularly 3d, when the penny finally dropped, and 12a, were my favourites today.

    Many thanks to the setter and to DT for the hints.

  2. Put wrong answer in for 2d – an easily irritated Wind in the Willows character rather than out of practice so couldn’t see 8a. Should have read the clue more carefully. If I hadn’t made the initial error would have sailed through but had to leave it and come back later. Loved 12a – very clever, use of gnome in 5d was new to me but easily got from wordplay. Lots to enjoy. Thanks to setter and DT for hints and review.

    1. Looks like you and I were on much the same wavelength today, although I got 8a early on which prevented me from putting ratty in 2d!

  3. We found this one quite tricky today. At least 3* for difficulty for us. Very short, concise clues in the manner of RayT but it is certainly not one of his. Would describe the experience as intriguing rather than amusing. A satisfying solve with no particular stand-out favourites.
    Thanks MrRon and DT.

  4. Enjoyed this one a great deal today.
    The only real problem for me was 21a.
    Needed DTs hint for that one.
    Thx to all.

  5. A clumsy spelling mistake in 14d, putting the wrong vowel, had me scratching my head for a while with 20a.
    Thanks to setter, and to Deep Threat.

    1. Glad is wasn’t just me who did that today, only when I realised what 20a should be did I check the spelling of 14d

  6. Many thanks to the setter for an enjoyable start to the week (always know it’s going well if I finish before geting to work)
    Many thanks too to Deep Threat for the usual excelent hints (though I only needed 3d and 5d explaining)
    Favourite clue 21a, as it made me smile

  7. Kicking myself for failing to get 21A. Otherwise, fairly smooth going though I had to google to check 3D. I did like 8A and 12A, but overall the smile factor was low today. One man’s meat…

    Thanks to the setter and to DT for the hints.

    1. Unfortunately, idiot that I am, I put in bows for 21a and completely messed up 15d, which is probably the easiest clue of the lot. Grrr, I get so cross with myself.

  8. Struggled with 13a as I’ve never come across the phrase before. Likewise 5d, but I liked 8a and 12a. Otherwise a good mix of clues and not too much reliance on the hints! Thanks to setter and reviewer. Off to cut the grass now as the sun is finally shining north of the border.

  9. Well I was going to query the use of “happy” as an anagram indicator in 15d in the newspaper copy, but the online version appears to use “merry”, which works much better. Thanks to setter and to Deep Threat for the review.

    1. Thanks for that. I hadn’t spotted the difference, but have now added a comment to the hint.

  10. Just the way I like crosswords, some fairly easy clues to get the brain ticking over (and some checking letters) then some TLBs (tricksy little buggers) to make it work properly. Like most others, new meaning for Gnome for me too, but easily solvable. 12A was just sublime.

    Got rid of the dandelions yesterday (mowed the lawn) but one bunch are nearly back again, grrrr. Now, where did I put that Roundup ……

      1. Bizarrely, we have a rather splendid dandelion growing high up in our apple tree. It seems to have taken root between two high branches and I will need a ladder to remove it.

    1. Round up will do it but could also damage the lawn if you’re a bit trigger happy (trust me – I know). Best way is to get down on your knees with an old kitchen knife & dig the buggers up by the roots. Alternatively you could act in a supervisory capacity & get Mr S (not my Mrs S obviously as that would be taking things a little too far) to demonstrate her skills in the removal of unwanted weeds while you sup on a cold one… good luck..

  11. Enjoyed this. The only clue I struggled with was 20a. Since I have read the book, seen the film and tasted the beer it was a rather poor effort from me.

  12. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the review and hints. I just couldn’t do this, needed 6 hints to finish. Enjoyed some of it. Never heard of this meaning of 5d before. Favourite was 12a. Was 3*/2* for me. Cloudy now in Central London.

  13. Very enjoyable if untaxing crossword, many thanks to the setter and to DT for the amusing review. The toughie by Giovanni is equally enjoyable and yet worth a go by anyone who is a wee bit afraid of toughies.

    1. Thank you for pointing in the direction of the Toughie – just done it sitting in the sun. Perfect for a scaredy-cat like me!

    2. My thanks, too, for the Toughie recommendation. If anything, it was easier than this Cryptic, but a delight nonetheless.

  14. I thought 2.5* for difficulty. There was nothing I hadn’t actually heard of (except 5d which I never have in that context) but the slight rarity of some words, plus the arrangement where the only letters available were common vowels meant I needed a crossword solver on 3d and a couple of others which were actually straightforward if only my brain worked. I thought 13a anagram and 14d were clever.
    Thanks to the setter today – I should try the hints but I regard it as cheating……oo-er.

  15. Think the setter must have been a Latin,Greek ,French scholar who played golf about a hundred years ago whilst visiting Bodmin .Very enjoyable .
    Thanks very much. .

  16. Delightful. 13A was a very pleasing clue. 5D was excellent, gently leading me by the hand to the new meaning for an old word.

  17. Enjoyable thank you setter. Never heard of the answer in 5d, but got it from the wordplay. Many good fun clues. Thank you DT for your review. Anyone know the winner in 9d ?? Difficult to believe but sun still shining and a lovely day in the NW !

  18. For the second day running I think that it’s all been said and I agree with DT’s rating.
    Like others I’ve never heard of a gnome being a proverb – can usually (but not always) tell the difference between something I really didn’t know and something I’ve forgotten.
    I was slow to get 1, 12 and 24a. As usual I missed 1d for far too long.
    I liked 12, 13 and 16a and 3 and 21d. Favourite was 20a.
    With thanks to Mr Ron, whoever he is today, and to Deep Threat.

    Still warm and sunny – just wondering if I can put off watering everything in the garden as it’s all terribly dry but rain is promised (or threatened depending on how you look at it) for the next few days. This has been quite a tricky garden year so far. My uncle who was an amazing gardener always used to say that he hated weather – ie it was always too wet or too dry, too cold or too hot, too windy or just plain wrong for the time of year!

  19. Late start today. Got nearly to the end and was waylaid by phone calls. Brain went to sleep after that so thanks for the hints to 3, 22,19. Loved the anagrams 13 & 16. Overall very enjoyable **/**** will do for me.

  20. I quite enjoyed that today. I had never heard of that meaning for gnome but got the answer as it could only be what it was. I spent far too much time trying to remember the name of the book, which I had read many many moons ago,but got there in the end . Thanks to Mr Ron & DT.

  21. Enjoyed this, if a little slower than usual (for me!). Many thanks to setter & DT. Didn’t know 3d (am not a sports lover apart from some – and definitely not football, cricket or golf – so realise I may be in a minority of one on this site. But I enjoy reading the comments nevertheless :-) ). Looks like Manchester was a real wheeze…

    1. Hi Poppy – 3d is worth remembering as it turns up from time to time. I only know if from crosswords – in fact what little I know in the way of sporting terminology ALL comes from crosswords! :smile:

      1. Thanks for that tip, Kath (good to hear from you). I’ll try & file it somewhere retrievable in what I laughingly call my brain! Are you thinking of going to the S & B gathering on 23rd? Always enjoy reading your comments :-) .

            1. Don’t know how I hadn’t noticed it – just not looking for it I suppose. It’s much more obvious than anything else down that side. :roll:

        1. Have finally seen what you were talking about Poppy. No, won’t be going to that one – mid-week is trickier than weekends.

  22. Enjoyable and lighthearted crossword today , I thought.I needed a hint for 3d, because I , too, never heard of it, despite having 3 golfers in the house,( not me ,yet). I feel I have seen both the clue and the solution for 21a and 21d before. Favorites were 12a and 20a.Thanks to setter and DT.

  23. Was I the only person who put BIRD in for 21a initially? I was quite pleased with that answer since it also fits nicely with the clue. It made 15d impossible until I worked out the mistake. **/***

    1. I think you’re certainly the only one who has admitted to 21a – I can see the ‘lover’ bit but not the ‘knot’!

      1. A Knot is a shorebird. Its name being derived from Canute who also dipped his feet in the water.

  24. A knot is a type of bird… Came up in a puzzle the other week in that context.

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